Coke: Owls Much Changed Since Exit
Friday, 14th Aug 2015 06:00
Giles Coke would love to be able to mark Mick McCarthy’s card for the visit of his former club, Sheffield Wednesday, to Portman Road tomorrow.
But so much has changed at Hillsborough in recent months – new owner, new manager and a host of new signings – that he agrees he is in no position to offer any real insight ahead of the eagerly-awaited clash.
McCarthy, however, will be well prepared for the Owls’ visit thanks to reports from his scouts on their opening two games, a comfortable 2-0 home league win over newly-promoted Bristol City on the opening day of the season and an even more impressive 4-1 demolition of Mansfield in a Capital One Cup first round tie on Tuesday.
Coke said: “I am still friendly with some of the boys at Wednesday but I haven’t really spoken to them about how they have been playing.
“However, I’m sure it will be a different style of play from last season. They have brought in a lot of foreign players and with a foreign coach they have a different mentality.
“I’m sure it is a lot different to how it has been in the past. The boys I’ve spoken to are very excited about what’s happening up there since the takeover. It is probably a similar feeling to here because we are also thinking we can be up there challenging for promotion.”
While Wednesday have made the best possible start under Portuguese head coach Carlos Carvalhal, who replaced ex-boss Stuart Gray, Coke believes there is no one with better credentials at this level than his new manager.
He added: “To be honest I didn’t know much about Mick McCarthy. Obviously, I know he’s a very experienced manager but I knew people who had played for him and they all said good things about him.
“No one said anything bad so it was a brilliant decision to sign my deal here. I believe he’s going to make me a better player and there’s really good coaching in TC that the boys love.
“It’s a new beginning in my career and I can’t wait for it to continue. I’m 29 but I’m always improving, every day in fact. I’m looking to improve and I’m sure I can learn from the likes of Jonny Douglas, another experienced midfielder that the gaffer has brought in.
“He had a good scoring record with Brentford last season and I’d like to add goals to my game, so with his experience alongside the other players in the squad hopefully I can do that.
“I’ve had really good coaches and managers in my time and Mick McCarthy’s no different. He’s probably the most experienced manager I’ve played under. They all have their different ways but Mick has won promotion and that makes him a top manager.”
Coke could not be happier with the way things have worked out since Wednesday released him at the end of last season, adding: “I am delighted to get such a great move as this. Ipswich got to the play-offs last year and had a very good season.
“I’m quite confident in my ability, not in an arrogant way but I feel like I’m good enough to play at this club. I’m very lucky and fortunate that Mick McCarthy has given me the opportunity.
“What sort of player am I? Well, you can call me a box-to-box midfielder who likes to put his foot in. Maybe my weakness is that I don’t score enough goals so maybe I’ve got to add that to my game. I feel like I’ve got a point to prove. In fact, I think you always have a point to prove and get better.
“I’m no different, I’m hungry, I want to improve and I want to be successful and win things. I’ve had setbacks in my career and always looked to come back stronger.
"I’ve been out on loan when you have to go out and prove yourself. I’ve had little injuries that have set me back a bit but that happens in football. I’m just really happy to be here and hopefully I can have a good season.”
Photo: Action Images
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